Understanding and Responding to Trafficking in Persons

An introductory e-module to Trafficking in Persons for frontline and non-frontline Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers.

Understanding and Responding to Trafficking in Persons

British Red Cross and Australian Red Cross in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are excited to be launching the first global online training on human trafficking within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the e-module Understanding and Responding to Trafficking in Persons. This course, developed in partnership with a National Societies and IFRC working group, in consultation with survivors of trafficking through the Survivor Alliance, and reviewed by the Global Protection Cluster, is designed for Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers however much of the content is also relevant to external audiences engaged in humanitarian action.

Meet Felix and Sakiya

The e-module features two central characters, Sakiya and Felix, who the learner gets to know through a series of animations throughout the course. Their stories, along with case studies from National Society contexts, help to demonstrate and explore what trafficking is and how it can be identified, the impact of trafficking and the humanitarian needs of trafficked people, and why trafficking in persons is a protection issue that is of concern to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

E-module overview

Understanding and Responding to Trafficking in Persons is an introduction to trafficking in persons for Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers. By completing this e-module, leaners will know how to recognise trafficking in persons and what steps to take to prevent and respond to this protection concern. A dedicated unit in the e-module explores the impact of Covid-19 on trafficking in persons.

Trafficking violates a person’s dignity, integrity and human rights, endangering their life and physical security. It is a complex global issue which is influenced by sociocultural, economic, political and context-specific factors, all of which can be exacerbated by the onset of emergency.

In their programmes and operations, National Societies may encounter people who are currently in a trafficking situation, those who have already left a trafficking situation and those at risk of trafficking. This course aims to enable staff and volunteers to recognise people in these situations and to know the main steps they can take to mitigate risks and safely respond.

Building on this understanding, the e-module introduces how trafficking is and can be addressed through the work of the National Societies and the IFRC as well as the core knowledge, skills and behaviours that are needed to safely respond to concerns or disclosures about trafficking. Some National Societies have the skills and experience to respond to trafficking in more specialist ways and for those the e-module has an optional learning section to explore specialised responses. The e-module also develops awareness of the impact of emergencies on trafficking in persons with a focus on Covid-19.

Course learning objectives

By the end of the course learners will be able to:

  • explain the legal definition of trafficking in persons and recognise its three elements
  • recognise that exploitation exists on a continuum and identify different forms of exploitation
  • explain why trafficking in persons is a protection issue that is of concern to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
  • recall factors that heighten the risks of trafficking
  • define the difference between trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants
  • identify indicators (warning signs) of trafficking
  • explain the impact of trafficking and the humanitarian needs of trafficked people
  • describe how the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement addresses trafficking in its work
  • recall the best way to respond safely if a person tells you they have been trafficked or you suspect they may have been
  • recognise the impact of Covid-19 on trafficking in persons.

How can I access the e-module?

The e-module in English can be accessed through the IFRC learning platform – search: Understanding and Responding to Trafficking in Persons. Versions in French, Spanish and Arabic will be available from July 2021.